The new 2013-2014 fiscal year has just begun, and as the Stewardship Ministry Leader of the Richardson SDA Church, I would like to take the opportunity to remind each one of the importance of returning tithe and offerings. This is just one way we can participate in helping spread the end time news that time is short and there is still work to do.
As you prepare to return tithe and offerings, do so prayerfully, keeping in mind that there is a difference between the two. Both have a purpose and are needed in the operation of the Lord’s work.
1 Cor. 4:2 says “Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.” (NIV)
The Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual states that Christians are God’s stewards, entrusted with His goods and as His partners, responsible to manage them in harmony with His guidelines and principles.
The tithe was established back in Old Testament where The Lord said “I give to the Levites all the tithes in Israel as their inheritance in return for the work they do while serving at the Tent of Meeting.” Numbers 18:21. This is why in the Seventh-day Adventist church tithe is held sacred for the work of the ministry, for Bible teaching, and for the support of conference administration in the care of the churches and of field outreach (missionary) endeavors. Tithe shall not be spent on other work, on paying church or institutional debts or on building programs.
Ellen G White in Special Testimony to Battle Creek Church, pp. 6,7 (Aug, 1896) said, “It is wrong to use the tithe for defraying the incidental expenses of the church. You are robbing God every time that you put your hands into the treasury for funds to meet the running expenses of the church.”
Local Church Budget Offering
In addition to tithe, Scripture emphasizes our obligation to bring offerings to the Lord. The withholding of offerings is classed with withholding tithe and is called robbery in Malachi 3:8. Malachi 3:10 goes on to say, “Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it” (NIV)
While tithe is to provide ministers, evangelists and bible workers to further the Lord’s work around the world, the local church budget offering is for maintaining the Lord’s house and providing funds for the various ministry groups of the local church, including local evangelism, and the education of our children — represented by our commitment to the North Dallas Adventist Academy mortgage and student subsidy programs.
Stewardship Ministry – Sue Ramsey